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Can my child get SSI benefits for Epilepsy?

Seizure disorders occur for many reasons in children and can result in a change of the child’s attention, awareness level or movements. It is estimated that up to 3% of children have experienced seizure disorders prior to the age of 15 and according to medical sources up to 1 in 100 children may have recurring epileptic seizures.

Winning Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for seizure disorder

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is one of the disability programs administered by the Federal Government and is available to disabled children who have very limited income and resources. Consider, however, that you may have a child who is disabled who may not qualify for SSI if your family’s income and resource level does not meet the levels established for the SSI disability program, regardless of the severity of their health condition.

Meeting a Listing in the Listing of Impairments for a seizure disorder

To determine if a child is disabled the SSA will refer to what they term their SSA Listing of Impairments. This is a list maintained by the SSA which outlines the conditions and symptoms the SSA will consider automatically disabling. If your child’s condition is not listed in the SSA Listing of Impairments you will need to prove that their condition and symptoms are as severe as a condition which is contained within the list.

SSA Listing of Impairments and Seizure Disorders for Children

The Social Security Administration has two listing for seizure disorders: 111.02 Major motor seizure disorder and 111.03 Nonconvulsive epilepsy.

To meet the listing for 111.02 Major Motor Seizure Disorder you will have to prove that your child has had more than one major motor seizure per month despite at least three months of prescribed treatment. They also must experience daytime episodes of loss of consciousness and convulsive seizures or nocturnal episodes with residual effects which interfere with their day time activities.

Your child can also be diagnosed with convulsive epilepsy syndrome if they experience an IQ of less than 70, have episodes which interfere with communication due to speech, hearing, or visual defect, have a significant mental disorder or have severe side-effects from the medication which interfere with your their daily activities.

The second listing for epilepsy is for 111.03 Nonconvulsive epilepsy which also must cause one or more minor seizures per week in which your child experiences a “loss of awareness or loss of consciousness, despite at least 3 months of prescribed treatment.”

As mentioned above, the SSA assumes that it may take some time to control your child’s epilepsy disorder. Just having epilepsy will not be enough to win benefits, especially if the side-effects can be controlled with medication and therapy.

Hiring a Disability Lawyer

Getting disability benefits for your child can be complicated. Make sure you understand the disability process, review the requirements for SSI on our website at and review the listing in the SSA Listing of Impairments.

Disability lawyers can also help claimants review their child’s medical records to determine if you may need to gather additional evidence to prove your child’s SSI claim.
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